UTAH

Payson’s ‘Music Man’ Keeps 109-year Tradition Going

Aug 13, 2018, 5:21 PM | Updated: Aug 14, 2018, 5:23 pm

PAYSON, Utah – A retired music teacher has come back to his home town in Utah County for 16 years to keep up a decades-old family legacy.

Wayne Huff left his home town of Payson years ago, but during the summer, something keeps drawing him back – tradition.

Every Sunday evening during the summer, Huff takes the stage at Payson’s Memorial Park to lead the Payson City Band in a medley of popular music, classical music and movie and show tunes. It’s a concert series that’s been running every year since 1909, according to L. Dee Stevenson of the Payson Historical Society

“It’s more than a tradition, it’s a marker for Payson,” said clarinetist Diane Cruz.

Huff inherited a love of music from his father, Lewis, a Geneva Steel worker who played trumpet in dance bands. In 1970, Lewis Huff volunteered to conduct the Payson City Band concerts in the park. He made sure each of his five children took music lessons. Each of them played in the band, as well.

Wayne’s brother Larry said his dad was like the character Harold Hill from the musical, The Music Man, who tells young Winthrop, “I always think there’s a band, kid.”

“That’s the way it was with my father,” Larry Huff says. “There was always a band.”

“When I was a little kid in Payson, I’d sit in the front row listening to the band play,” Wayne Huff said. “I remember sitting there listening to Dad and Farrell (his brother) play in the band. I thought, ‘Gosh, I want to get into that.’”

Sixteen years ago, Wayne Huff, a retired music teacher, picked up the baton. The band today includes his brother, Larry, his sister, Colleen, a niece, nephew and grandson. He also shares the stage with a high school band mate, trombonist Cordell Chipman. They’ve played together, Chipman said, for about 65 years.

A dozen members have played with the band for over 30 years. Five have been with the band for over 50 years.

“It’s bigger than all of us because of its history,” said percussionist Klint Crawford. “Every time I’m in rehearsal with them you can feel that presence of every person that’s been in the band and the history of the band and there’s just this feeling of playing with them that I don’t get anywhere else.”

The Payson City Band plays in Memorial Park every Sunday at 8 p.m. through Labor Day.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Utah

Angels Landing Zion National Park...
Larry D. Curtis

KSL’s Chopper 5 and photojournalist document Utah’s unique beauty

Utah's unique geography, that includes mountains, deserts, lakes and snow, bring visitors from around the world. KSL photojournalist Meghan Thackrey is part of a team that documents news on KSL TV's Chopper 5, giving her some pretty unique landscapes and geographic features to record.
16 days ago
The logo for Utah's Treasure Hunt 2022. (Credit: onthejohn)...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

‘Utah’s Treasure Hunt’ gives out its first clue for the $20,000 prize

'Utah's Treasure Hunt' has released their first clue and a general area to look at for its $20,00 grand prize.
22 days ago
The bodies of Kylen Schulte (left) and Crystal Turner (right) were found near the La Sal Loop Road,...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV

Suspect named in Grand County double homicides of Turner, Schulte

Grand County Sheriff's Office named a suspect in the double homicide of Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner. The suspect was identified as Adam Pinkusiewicz, who is dead.
2 months ago
An overlook of the Colorado River from Dead Horse Point State Park in eastern Utah. (Larry D. Curti...
SETH BORENSTEIN AP Science Writer

Earth Day: Humanity proves it can clean up messes, repair damage

As bad as the environment seems with climate change and other pollution, scientists say humanity has also done a pretty good job of cleaning up past messes. More than 25 experts shared their favorite ecological success stories for Earth Day. The overwhelming No. 1 success story is the healing of Earth’s ozone hole. Experts credit […]
2 months ago
(Used by permission, Emery County Search and Rescue)...
Michael Houck

UPDATE: Two men dead after rappelling incidents in Emery County

Emery County Search & Rescue responded to two separate fatal rappelling incidents involving people falling off cliffs this Easter weekend.
2 months ago
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 27:  Milly, a 13-week-old kitten waits with her brother Charlie (L) to b...
Larry D. Curtis, KSL TV

Rally planned against bill to erase local laws governing animal use including puppy mills

Utah lawmakers are pushing a bill that would erase city and county animal ordinances and laws in Utah and prohibit local governments from making new ones.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Payson’s ‘Music Man’ Keeps 109-year Tradition Going